How modesty triumphed in the Derby

In the absence on her Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty, such an avid Derby attender in the past, and following the death just days before of the legendary Lester Piggott, it could have been a low-key, insignificant Derby. Instead, a truly impressive victory for the favourite, Desert Crown, turned it into a different kind of celebration. He had never really been away, but how the crowd welcomed the comeback when Desert Crown won Sir Michael Stoute his sixth Derby, becoming at 76 the oldest to perform the feat. The previous holder of the record was the 75-year-old Matt Dawson with Sir Visto in 1895, but in those days there were

The Derby was a game of musical saddles

We all know it takes courage to win races over jumps, along with athleticism, stamina and speed. But you need courage to win on the Flat too and Adayar showed that in abundance winning this year’s Derby. The aerial shots show vividly the moment, two furlongs from the finish, when early leader Gear Up moved fractionally away from the rail. Jockey Adam Kirby, who had been tracking him all the way, saw his opportunity and asked Adayar to forge through the narrow gap. His brave mount responded and suddenly they were clear, going on to win by four lengths in a success that was truly popular with the racing community.

Aidan O’Brien’s Derby victory was an act of grand larceny

It wasn’t so much a Derby victory this year as an act of grand larceny. Aidan O’Brien isn’t just a master racehorse trainer. He is a master of psychology too. On Serpentine, a son of his first Derby winner Galileo, he put up a capable but little-known jockey who hadn’t had a winner for 260 days assuring him that his mount would last two furlongs more than the Derby distance. Emmet McNamara duly pushed Serpentine into a massive lead and the other jockeys assumed they would blow up well before the finish, just as two front runners had done earlier in the Oaks. By the time the others realised that